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Funding to help tackle neighbourhood crime, anti-social behaviour and violence against women and girls in Southampton

25 July 2022

The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner has been awarded £645,645 by the Home Office in the fourth round of the Safer Streets funding bid to support Southampton City Council initiatives to tackle violence against women and girls, anti-social behaviour and neighbourhood crimes.

This is part of a total of more than £1.3million that has been awarded to the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner to support local initiatives in Hampshire and on the Isle of Wight.

Southampton City Council’s bid outlined the funding it needs to build upon and improve a consistent response to tackling violence against women and girls sexual violence, anti-social behaviour and neighbourhood crimes in the Southampton area.

Analysis of local crime data together with community safety surveys and feedback from Community Safety Partnerships, Health and Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) groups helped inform the application.
Analysis showed that anti-social behaviour was being felt by a large number of communities, specifically residents in Millbrook who felt that crime had increased in their area over the last 12 months.

In addition there was a notable concern that only a small amount of people felt safe after dark, and a lot of people said they had experienced violent behaviours in the city because they were women.

Now, the Local Authority has pledged to have these issues addressed. The £645,645 will be used to build upon existing partnership working arrangements and the work undertaken in the previous funding round to ensure resident and visitors have a consistent offer of support, response and service.

The types of crime the money will help reduce include:

  • Neighbourhood crimes such as robberies and motorcycle enabled crime, including theft
  • Reducing anti-social behaviour, specifically involving young people
  • Tackling violence against women and girls

The funding, secured by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, will help Southampton City Council deliver the following initiatives to reduce crime and increase safety:

  • Work with young people in Millbrook and Redbridge: Working with community groups, schools and youth organisations in Millbrook and Redbridge to divert young people away from ASB and crime into meaningful activities. Fund a police anti-social behaviour officer to coordinate multi-agency prevention activity.
  • Prevent theft of motorcycles: helping to provide security measures and prevention advice for owners.
  • Making nights out safer: equipping entertainment venues with relevant training and toolkits to spot vulnerability, target perpetrators and prevent harassment. Continue to fund door staff security to carry out additional patrols to support the police and fund a regular ‘Safe Zone’ to support those who may be vulnerable on a night out, bolstered by an extra CCTV operator to spot suspicious, predatory behaviour. In addition, work with both universities in the city to help ensure students feel safe.
  • Support behaviour change tools through education: continue to support multi-agency working to change negative gender behaviours with young people through Yellow Door outreach programmes and the STAR+ programme.
  • Guardianship Scheme: protect young people through No Limits youth worker outreach in the city centre after 3pm, specifically identifying children who may be on the periphery of crime or at risk.
  • Supporting Safer Streets initiatives: hire a project manager to coordinate, monitor and drive project activities so that Hampshire and the Isle of Wight can feel the benefit of the projects and have access to resources that inform them on matters of safety, as well as looking at developing an app to make incidents easier to report.

Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Terry Norton said:
“I am really pleased we are able to provide support for these local initiatives to improve safety in Southampton.

“The Home Office Safer Streets fund is vital in helping the Commissioner Donna Jones and I provide local areas with the resources they need to prevent crime and target community issues that matter to residents the most.

“Anti-social behaviour and Violence Against Women and Girls cannot be resolved by police alone, they require cross sector partnership working which is a key part the Commissioner’s Police and Crime Plan.

“Providing community interventions, education, support and perpetrator focussed projects alongside the work of the police is vital for finding long-term solutions to crime reduction.”

Councillor Matt Renyard, Cabinet Member for a Safer City at Southampton City Council said: “We are delighted to have secured further Safer Streets funding following our successful bid to the Home Office. This is a very competitive process, and our success reflects the collaboration between our local communities and partners who have contributed to our bid.

“We will be using the funds to help reduce Anti-Social Behaviour and neighbourhood crimes, make our city centre safer at night for all to enjoy and to build upon our work across the city to prevent and reduce Violence Against Women and Girls. We look forward to working with our communities and key partners to deliver real change over the next two years, to help make Southampton a great place to be.”